In the early days of Hollywood, actresses were expected to fit a certain mold: beautiful, glamorous, and most importantly, married. But not all actresses followed this traditional path. Some chose to focus on their careers rather than settling down, while others simply never found the right person. Here are the stories of a few actresses from a bygone era who never got married and why.
- Greta Garbo was one of the most iconic actresses of the silent era, known for her beauty and enigmatic presence onscreen. But offscreen, she was notoriously private and never married. Rumors swirled about her sexuality, but she never confirmed or denied them. Instead, she focused on her work and lived a reclusive life until her death in 1990.
- Bette Davis was a trailblazer in Hollywood, known for her fierce independence and strong-willed characters onscreen. She was married four times, but none of her marriages lasted more than a few years. She once said, “I will never be below the heel of a man who can’t keep up with me.” Davis remained unmarried in her later years, focusing on her work and her children.
- Katharine Hepburn was a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood, known for her talent, intelligence, and fiercely independent spirit. She had a long-term affair with fellow actor Spencer Tracy, but the two never married. Hepburn once said, “I have not lived as a woman. I have lived as a man. I’ve just done what I damn well wanted to, and I’ve made enough money to support myself, and ain’t afraid of being alone.”
- Lillian Gish was a beloved actress of the silent era, known for her delicate beauty and emotional performances. She never married, instead focusing on her work and her family. Gish once said, “I don’t believe that I’ll ever find a man who will understand me as well as my work does.”
- Norma Shearer was a talented actress known for her sophisticated performances and glamorous style. She was married to MGM producer Irving Thalberg for 11 years until his death in 1936, but never remarried. Shearer continued to work in Hollywood until the early 1940s, when she retired to focus on her family.
- Diane Keaton never got married but had several high-profile relationships in her younger years. She has been known to be fiercely independent and has said in interviews that she never felt the need to get married or have children. Despite this, she has had a successful career in Hollywood, starring in many beloved films such as “Annie Hall,” “The Godfather,” and “Something’s Gotta Give.”
These actresses may have never married, but they lived full and fulfilling lives, both on and off screen. They were pioneers in a time when women were expected to conform to traditional gender roles, and they paved the way for future generations of women in Hollywood.